EVENT REVIEW: Nationals Senator Fiona Nash (NSW), Albury Visit (30 June 2010)

Posted on July 21, 2010 by


A Voice for Regional Voters

Recently on the border, Albury citizens were afforded the opportunity to discuss topical political issues with National Party Senator Fiona Nash. Arriving in QEII square on the 30 June 2010, Senator Nash was greeted by a selection of politically engaged supporters to voice their opinion to a political representative and to understand key National Party Policies on a number of policy matters. In particular, I questioned Senator Nash on the inability of regional and rural students to compete with urban counterparts in relation to education and accessibility to learning resources. The primary policy issue which entered discussion involved the Labor Government’s Building Education Revolution Program which has seen $16.2 billion dollars being mismanaged within our schooling system.

Following further discussion, I raised with Senator Nash how the lack of strategic planning in the administration of this program was, I believe, wasting valuable tax payer contributions. The lack of consultation in the development of this infrastructure, later leading to funds being misused and the inability for school principles to exercise power in monitoring constructions in the public system can be viewed, in my opinion, simply appalling. For many students, including myself, who have only just left the school system, it is not the infrastructure which is in desperate need but rather the ability to access learning resources and to attend educational seminars such as those readily available to city students. The Labor Government simply has given way to a perpetuation of disadvantage for rural students, with the construction of impressive infrastructure and additional advertisement being manipulated for the purposes of party propaganda.

After relieving these frustrations onto Senator Nash, the policy platform that the Coalition plans to take to the people presents as both thorough and considered in relation to the spending of tax payer dollars. Allowing schools to manage infrastructure and learning projects and thus avoiding the increasing red tape and bureaucracy, added through the provision of state education departments, is certainly more viable and proficient to the methods pursued by the current Labor Government. It is also clear, that through this alternative policy, providing schools with greater control over projects undertaken will, in the end, save taxpayer dollars whilst not denying students opportunities that are experienced in urban areas.

Following Senator Nash’s visit on the border, it became reassuring that the Coalition and the National Party have not forgotten regional voters and regional students. Time and time again are rural populations left envious and frustrated towards urban citizens however, with the refreshing and open mindedness of representatives such as Senator Fiona Nash, change may soon be on the horizon.

Finally, I would like to encourage all persons, particularly students, to become engaged in political debate with members of parliament. Whether this is on a state or federal level, the opportunity to engage in this debate is truly rewarding.

Martin Dickens is a first year Bachelor of Arts student at La Trobe University’s Albury-Wodonga Campus. Having lived in the local region all of his life, Martin is thoroughly interested in Australian Politics and is a member of the Young Liberal Movement. He was formerly the 2009 College Captain of Trinity Anglican College Albury and has been involved in numerous community activities, as well as acting as a United Nations Youth Delegate for Regional Youth Summits.

The views in this story are those of the author and not necessarily those of Our Voice: Politics Albury-Wodonga.